Netherlands: New data show economy deeper into recession
March 29, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP contracted 0.4% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous quarter, according to the second growth estimate released by Statistics Netherlands on 29 March. The reading represents a deterioration over the advanced estimate of a 0.2% contraction and surprised the market on the downside, as it had expected the figure to remain unrevised. For the full year 2012, GDP contracted 0.1%, which contrasted the 1.0% expansion registered in 2011.
The Q4 contraction came mainly on the back of depressed consumption. Total consumption was revised downwards, as private consumption fell a sharp 1.3% quarter-on-quarter (previously reported: -1.1% qoq) while public spending rose a mild 0.1% (previously reported: +0.4% qoq). In addition, gross fixed investment declined 0.8% over the previous quarter (previously reported: -0.7% qoq).
The contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth remained unchanged at the 0.5 percentage points reported in the previous estimate. That said, exports of goods and services were revised upwards to 1.5% qoq (previously reported: +0.6% qoq), while imports jumped to a 1.0% increase (previously reported: 0.0% qoq).
The government expects the economy to contract 0.5% in 2013. The Dutch Central Bank is more pessimistic and expects a 0.6% contraction in 2013 before a 1.0% expansion in 2014. For 2013, FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see GDP contracting 0.5%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's Consensus. For 2014, the panel expects the economy to expand 1.0%.